Islamic Garden, Emma Clark

Emma Clark: The Art of the Islamic Garden, Book Review

“Books are the gardens of scholars.” ~ Ali ibn Talib (as)

It is Autumn, 2017. This past summer I exhibited some art work in a garden in Berlin as part of an art festival and studied the culture and history of the Islamic garden. The Berlin garden was pretty yet somewhat chaotic (so Berlin!) and I longed for the calm composition, clarity and artistic refinement of the real thing. Continue reading

The Celestial Garden, Berlin, 2017

Sacred Dwellings: Celestial Gardens and Garden Artistry in Islam

“O Marvel! A garden amidst the flames.” ~Ibn Arabi, Tarjuman al-Ashwaq

“We are unaware of our own manifestation in this garden, the narcissus does not see it’s own spring with it’s own eyes.” ~ Mir Dard

When do we really see and take in the delicate beauty of a flower, the majesty and care of trees, the ever changing colors, forms and appearances of a bloom?Continue reading

Christrose

The Christmas Rose: Cancer-Treatments & Antidote Medicine in Islamic Healing

“The word “Toxin” (…) has a Persian Shamanic root (“taxsa” means “poisoned arrow”). The art and science of “the anti-dote against the poison” has a highly honored, special place in the Islamic healing arts.

The Christmas Rose (Helleborus niger, Black hellebore or Snow Flower, in Asia: Helleborus orientalis) is an evergreen perennial flowering plant that blooms in winter. It is considered a special plant with high mystical powers. According to European folk tales, the Christmas rose protects love, and is a symbol for a long and happy live. It was used as an aid against various illnesses since antiquity in Europe. It was also used since then as a repellent against malice and envy, and planted before door steps and stables. Like many protective talismanic plants it is very poisonous and highly ambigious. Continue reading

Crocus Carpet

The Infinite, Algorithms and The Disorderly Arabesque

“The Arabesque (…) transfigures the object of nature it decorates (…) into a weightless, transparent, floating pattern extending infinitely in all directions (…) the object of nature has become under the Arabesque treatment a window onto the infinite.”

During my work on this blog, while researching, reading and writing about Islamic philosophy and arts I have come of course very early unto the Arabesque. The Arabesque pattern – sometimes foliate but commonly geometrically structured patterns of different shapes and coloring, known from Islamic decorative arts but also from music – has captured my interest.Continue reading

Two Blue Peonies, Art by Roya Azal

The Peonie: Queen of Islamic Floral Art

“During the night the Peonie spends medicine and healing, during the day the beautiful “Rose with no thorns” is protected by a jealous bird.”

The Peonie (Paeonia officinalis) is known in phytology lore as “Fuga Demonica” – a repellent against bad energies and demons. It is a medical rose that came back to medieval Europe via the Islamic world from China (who imported it – via Arab, Persian and Syrian traders – originally from ancient Greece). The Peonie is a very stately flowering bush with large, lush dark pink, purple and rose tinted blooms. She is a wonderful floral gift for women.Continue reading

Forest with Arabeske

Learning from Khidr and Trees – My Life in the Forests

“You think you are a small entity, but within you is enfolded the entire Universe” – Ali ibn Talib (as)

“It is God who splits open the seed and the fruit stone. He brings out the living from the dead, and the dead from the living.” ~ Quran, Surat 6:100

One of the great blessings in my life are my encounters with Al-Khidr, the green spirit (Khiḍr resembles the word “green” in Arabic, though others give other etymologies for the name). One afternoon in England – in a park with a small forest – I encounterd a bright green light (that’s Clorophyl) in the moss and ever since I follow this light and began a conversation with trees and everything that grows. With time I learned more about the vast interconnected natural networks that surround us and I began to venture deeper into communicating and seeking to learn from them.

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Sacred Tree in Light

Spiritual Signatures in Illness and Remedies to Counter Them

“Typhus has a part in Spanish history. The old Spanish name for it was Tarbardoillo, from the word for a red cloak, inspired by the crimson red rash which is one of the symptoms of epedemic typhus fever (…)”~ Spanish Mountain Life, Juliette de Bairacli Levy

The disease was brought to Spain as long ago as the 13th century, by soldiers returning from Cyprus. At the siege of Granada later in the 15th century, typhus was an important factor in aiding Spanish victory, as the fever became epedemic amongst the Moorish defenders and slew more of them then any other weapon of war.” ~ Spanish Mountain Life, Juliette de Bairacli Levy

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Bird & Jinn

Love Between Humans and Jinn

Jeki Bud, Jeki Na Bud (It was, it was not) ~ Beginning of Fairy Tales in Persian

“So let us return to the matter in hand: this spiritual world surely takes on many different forms and manifests in perceptible forms.” ~ Ibn Arabi, in Futūhāt al-Makkiyya

Once upon a time…

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Red Clover Plant Healer

Portraits of Plants and Healers: The Red Clover

There are two kinds of knowledge: knowledge of religion and knowledge of the body.” ~ Prophet Mohammed (a.s.)

Not far from our house we have fertile meadows that carry from Spring to late Summer lush fields of red clover. These modest little pink to dark purple colored flowers are not only gentle to the eye, they are also a great source of nutrition for insects, animals and people alike. It tastes wonderful in salats, but also makes dried a great tea and is a healing agent for both women and men. Traditionally Red Clover tea is known as hormone balancing herb for women in hormonal distress, mainly with menopausal or menstrual problems. However, I also found it to be a very good healer for women (and men) who went through major upheavals and emotional turmoils and it can take the edge even off post traumatic symptoms, depressions and associated problems such as chronic pains, nervousness, anxieties and dark moods.

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